Shop local: the value of an enriched human nudge

To make shopping local the norm, we need to think less about transaction efficiency and more about enjoyment

Shop local: the value of an enriched human nudgeChances are you’ve seen or heard some sort of promotion about the value of shopping local – especially with so many of us in gift-buying mode now. Business improvement areas, chambers of commerce and other organizations tell us when we buy from shops near home, we’re voting for our community. The logic is generally sound…

Religious freedom benefits everyone

But hard secularism and the marginalization of some Canadians are reducing our deep pluralism and chipping away at our freedoms

Religious freedom benefits everyoneIt’s a safe bet that Asia Bibi – a Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan but still facing mob violence – would say religious freedom makes Canada a better country. Indeed, it’s because Canada enjoys religious freedom that this country may even grant her asylum. Chances are that Muslim Rohingyas fleeing Burma or…

Canadians have forgotten what marriage is and why it matters

As studies show that we're delaying or choosing not to get married, we need to recognize the overwhelming value of marriage

Canadians have forgotten what marriage is and why it mattersDating apps abound – and the new Facebook Dating is getting into the game in Canada – but all the technology in the world hasn’t changed a significant social trend: Young adults are the forefront of dwindling and delayed marriage in Canada. Even increasing common-law relationships haven’t picked up the slack. Young Canadian adults are…

Uber’s utter disrespect for social and business norms

The economic benefits of demolishing a monopoly business practice aren’t worth the environmental and human costs

Uber’s utter disrespect for social and business normsUber is embroiled in public controversy yet again with its Twitter release of an embarrassing dash-cam video of Ottawa Senators players mocking a coach while using the ride-sharing service. The tweet of the private conversation, captured on Oct. 29 when the National Hockey League team was between games in Las Vegas and Arizona, has reportedly…

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in Ontario

A survey shows that independent school graduates are much more likely to work for the common good. How can that be bad?

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in OntarioBy Doug Sikkema and Dr. Beth Green Cardus More than six per cent of children in Ontario are enrolled in independent (non-public) schools. In the 1960s, such independent school enrolments made up a mere 1.8 per cent of the student population. Six per cent might not seem like much, but the long-term trend in Ontario…

Make room for religious diversity in the workplace

Banning Quebec frontline civil servants from wearing religious symbols would show obstinate and dangerous secularism

Make room for religious diversity in the workplaceBanning Quebec frontline civil servants from wearing religious symbols, as premier-designate François Legault intends to do, would be socially regressive. Imposing this kind of flinty and obstinate secularism squashes the very diversity most politicians claim to value and support. It’s also out of step with the growing awareness among the business community that religious diversity…

How can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage?

Marriage understands shared existence, including the economic, spiritual, social and sexual aspects of our lives

How can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage?With the Ontario government’s public consultations on a new sex-ed curriculum well underway, we should recognize that both the old and new versions of the document suffer from the same fatal flaw. Neither makes any effort to educate about marriage – in fact, the word is never mentioned – as a significant social institution. The…

A commitment to diversity must include room for faith

Religious and faith communities are among the most racially and ethnically diverse parts of Canadian society

A commitment to diversity must include room for faithDepending on political preference, most Canadians would likely agree that diversity is our strength or is a product of our strength. Regardless of the preferred permutation, those views recognize diversity as a central feature of Canadian society. That’s all well and good, but what does that commitment to diversity really mean? A quick scan of…

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls short

Diversity separated from unity is generally not a good thing. We need unity of purpose, on the field and in life

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls shortDiversity concerns have been front and centre in recent days. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterized a woman’s view as “racist” after she heckled him; Maxime Bernier criticized “extreme multiculturalism” before he left the Conservative Party to set up his own. Rhetoric about diversity can be both heated and so routine as to be boilerplate, obscuring…

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common good

Beware the arrogance of the new age. Attempting to cleanse history is a fool’s or, worse, a tyrant’s errand

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common goodIn the interest of righting a genuine and grave historic wrong – the suffering of our Indigenous peoples – the historical hubris of our present Canadian age is distorting history yet again. Enter the City of Victoria and Sir John A. Macdonald. In removing his statue from in front of Victoria City Hall, the denizens…

Compelled speech compromises basic rights

If the Canada Summer Jobs precedent holds, soon other government agencies will mix public funds and political preferences

Compelled speech compromises basic rightsIn a crucial free speech ruling recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the constitution in that country prohibits forcing people to say what they don’t believe. Here in Canada, a young Ottawa lawyer upped the ante recently by filing a Federal Court lawsuit arguing that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right…

Will the Supreme Court uphold our liberty to dissent?

The Trinity Western University case represents one of the most important religious freedom decisions of the past 20 years

Will the Supreme Court uphold our liberty to dissent?On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its ruling in the Trinity Western University case. Until the judgment is made public, of course, no one knows which way the court might swing. For all who’ve tracked the dispute’s progress through the legal process, however, it stands to be among the most important religious…

The hollow gestures of an overreaching government

The Trudeau government’s aspirations to mandate equality, diversity and inclusion must be open for discussion, not just blindly accepted

The hollow gestures of an overreaching governmentI seem to have a penchant for seeking out protests – not necessarily to participate but to observe, to soak in the screams, the worn-out chants, the always amusing soundbite slogans. This particular demonstration, while not well attended, took place in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. The “anti-capitalist” rally and march in support…

Why marriage still matters

From health to wealth, from personal happiness to better outcomes for children, the benefits of traditional relationships are many

Why marriage still mattersBy Andrea Mrozek and Peter Jon Mitchell Cardus Canadian supporters of marriage are speaking up – and not a moment too soon. In a recent Angus Reid Institute survey, about 56 per cent of Canadians said, “marriage is simply not necessary” to form a lifelong relationship. Almost the same proportion (57 per cent) went on…

The ministry of loneliness wants to be your friend

But it’s far more likely that the institutions at neighbourhood levels are better positioned to address key aspects of loneliness

The ministry of loneliness wants to be your friendSince her January appointment as the United Kingdom’s minister of loneliness, Tracey Crouch has started work on a multimillion-dollar fund of anti-loneliness programs. That’s spurred debate about whether Canada and other countries should follow suit. While social isolation deserves our attention, a new federal minister may not be the answer. A growing body of research…
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